Life Insurance

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Life Insurance

Going through a divorce in California, I’ve been separated from my spouse for 6 years going onto 7 and 6 months ago I signed up for a life insurance. The life insurance is not a term policy is my spouse entitled to the policy even though I got it years after separation?

Asked on May 15, 2019 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An estranaged spouse is different from an ex-spouse. In most states, an ex cannot collect under such a policy. However, just because you are separated doesn't mean that you are not still married. Legally, your wife is still your spouse. Accordingly, she is entitled to receive the proceeds from your life insurance policy.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Is she the beneficiary? If you named her the beneficiary, then yes--the proceeds go to her, since they go to whomever you name as the beneficiary. If you don't want her to get the proceeds, name someone else as the beneficiary. Do not name your "estate" (or fail to name someone, since if you don't name any beneficiary, it goes to your estate), since if you pass away before the divorce is final--i.e. while still married--she might inherit from your estate.


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